Long Black VS Energy Drinks (Who Wins?)

Although both drinks are energy boosters, long black differs from energy drinks by providing little to no sugar, a higher caffeine content, and a considerable amount of health benefits. That said, when it comes to energy-boosting, energy drinks are more likely to give you a better boost as they contain special ingredients not found in a long black.

Coffee and energy drinks are two caffeinated drinks that are very common around the world. Mostly younger people enjoy sipping on both of these throughout their day.  

A cup of warm chocker early morning or chilled can of energy drink in the afternoon or early evening. They both are easy access to caffeine that gives you the instant pick-me-up needed to finish up your tasks. You can get tons of antioxidants from coffee and lots of B vitamins from energy drinks.

So, the big question here is which one is better? a long black, which is a coffee or any energy drinks that are canned drinks?

Let’s find out.

Ingredients In Energy Drinks and Long Black

Long black and energy drinks are both different kinds of energy boosters. A long black coffee is all-natural made from roasted coffee beans turned into espresso and water. However, energy drinks are all artificial made from caffeine extract and artificial sweeteners.

First, let’s talk about long black coffee. A long black is an all-natural drink. It’s a coffee that is very popular especially in America. It’s very close to an Americano also. In a mug of nearly boiling water a double shot of espresso or ristretto is added. Tada! The long black coffee is added.

It’s very simple. For those of you who don’t know what ristretto is, it’s essentially a sweeter and less bitter espresso. It has the intensity and strong notes but with less in-your-face kinda a thing.

Also, no dairy and sugar are added. Just straight up coffee.

People who prefer that power-packed coffee enjoy this every day especially for waking them up in the morning.  

Now if we talk about energy drinks, there are whole different categories of caffeinated drinks. It is a carbonated energy drink that has a lot of artificial additives and preservatives added to them.

Though it also contains B vitamins it has many synthesized boosters to make it a power-packed energy-giving drink. Since most energy drinks have 90% of the same ingredients, I’ve made a list below for you to have a look at.

  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • B vitamins
  • Caffeine
  • Caffeine anhydrous
  • Flavorings
  • Gluconolactone
  • L-Carnitine
  • Preservatives
  • Taurine

Is A Can Of Energy Drink Stronger Than A Cup Of Long Black?

A long black is not as strong as any energy drink. Energy drinks have additional boosting ingredients that make them stronger than a long black, which doesn’t contain any artificial boosters.

Compared to other energy drinks, a long black’s stimulating effects can be slower, but this can be beneficial in the long run.

Moderate consumption of energy drinks won’t harm you, but if you regularly consume them, you’ll feel increasingly tired once the effect wears off.

If we discuss a long black coffee, you can choose which ingredients you would like to put in it. The amount of espresso, water, and even any kind of flavorings if you want.

This can result in a stronger or a weaker cup of coffee depending on the amount of each ingredient. But even knowing this, typically, a long black isn’t that strong if compared with energy drinks.

We use the concentrated espresso’s sweeter version ristretto for a long black, which we then suppress with a tall glass of water, making it a bit lighter than most energy drinks.

When it comes to energy drinks, they are manufactured. Furthermore, they are popular among young people because they are easy to access and convenient.

The caffeine, sugars, and additional energy boosters that are found in energy drinks cause you to feel a rise in energy as soon as you drink the first sip.

Therefore, most energy drinks are stronger than a long black.

a cup of Long Black over a bed of roasted coffee beans

How Much Sugar Do Long Black And Energy Drinks Have?

A long black naturally doesn’t have any form of sweetness. Whereas energy drinks have tons of artificial sweeteners added to them. A regular can have somewhere from 26 gm to 34 grams of sugar, making it extensively sweet and unhealthy.

A long black does not contain any added sugar. Of course, you can add sugar or any flavored syrups to make it sweet but a classic long black contains little to no sugar.

Also, sugar is not so good for the human body. Usually, it’s is suggested by nutritionists to avoid sugar completely or consume it in very little amounts.

It’s is recommended by The Heart and Stroke Foundation to not consume more than 12 teaspoons of sugar in a whole day no matter whatever your source of sugar is like sugary drinks, coffees, tea, milk, etc. And energy drinks contain more than 14 teaspoons per serving.

This is an alarming amount.  Therefore, all energy drinks have tons of sweetness while a long black doesn’t contain any.  

I’ve prepared a table of five popular energy drinks and their respective sugar content.

Energy Drink 12 oz canSugar Content
Red Bull34 gm
Monster54 gm
BangSugar-Free
Rockstar69 gm
Mother26 gm

Which is Healthier In The Long Run: Energy Drinks Or Long Black

A long black is healthier in the short and long run. The crucial part is that a long black is all-natural without any artificial additives or tons of sugars.

As we come closer to discovering which is better, we have to consider which one is healthier than the other in the short or long run.

Any type of coffee is better than most energy drinks. Why? Because coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in the western diet.

Plus, it protects you from many chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Along with giving you an instant boost of energy, it aids in losing those extra pounds and helps you pick up those extra weights in the gym if you are weight lifting.  

Personally, I think a long black is healthier than any other coffee. Why? Because it doesn’t contain any sugar or dairy.

High intake of sugars like sweeteners, syrups, and dairies like milk and creams can lead to some major health issues like type 2 diabetes, weight issues, skin complications, etc.

Also, dairy is classified as one of the top contributors to diseases such as Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Heart disease, according to the Physicians Committee.

Typically, a long black doesn’t come pre-sweetened, but if you prefer it sweetened you can do so by adding natural sweeteners but in small amounts. I wrote a separate article on the health benefits of a long black and you can check it out if you’re interested.

a stack of monster energy drink

But energy drinks are making young people get hooked on them without even being acholic.

These drinks have intense amounts of sugar that instantly elevate your blood sugar level, giving you a sugar high or as scientifically known as hyperglycemia. This gives you instant energy while increasing your heartbeat which isn’t a great effect to have.

Another thing is that the high levels of caffeine found in many energy drinks aren’t the best way to get instant energy. Excessive caffeine can have some irreversible effects on your body.

Once these effects wear off within an hour or two, you will feel a sugar crash that will make you feel lethargic and irritated.

Caffeine overdosing from energy drinks has also been associated with irregular heartbeats and health hazards in young people. Type 2 diabetes, kidney problems, and dental disorders are common consequences of caffeine overdose.

Hence professionals warn students to not overdose on energy drinks in hopes of longer study hours especially during exam season when cramming the night before is rampant.

So in conclusion, I think a long black is healthier in the short and long-run when compared to energy drinks.

Do Energy Drinks Have More Caffeine Than Long Black?

A long black has more caffeine than the majority of energy drinks. A long black has 205 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup and most energy drinks have below 200 mg of caffeine per serving.

Since a typical long black has the purest form of espresso without any dairy or sugar to dilute the concentrated coffee shot, it has more caffeine than the majority of energy drinks.

The FDA recommends not to consume more than 400 mg of caffeine in a day, which is about 3 to 4 small 8 oz cups of coffee. Caffeine overdosing is hazardous and can cause some serious issues.

You might feel nausea, anxiety, dehydration, calcium depletion, and irregular heartbeats to name a few. Whereas regular cans of energy drinks which are 12 oz contain about 100 to 150 mg of caffeine, which is quite normal for any caffeinated drink.

Here is the table of popular energy drinks and their caffeine content.

Energy Drink 12 oz can Caffeine Content
Red Bull102 mg
Monster122 mg
Bang300 mg
Rockstar160 mg
Mother75.6 mg

Also, watch this video to learn more about caffeine intake.

Final Thoughts

Coffee and energy drinks both have their own benefits to give to us. Their regular and moderate consumption gives us antioxidants and vitamins, which is a good thing for your body.

If you are a sole drinker of coffee, you are doing good but keep in mind that don’t overdose.

I find that in comparing the two a long black is much better than any energy drink. Because it’s all-natural and can give you much more benefits than any energy drink.

Plus, most energy drinks are highly sweetened with artificial sweeteners that cause some serious damages to your health in the long run.

But regardless, it is completely your choice to make as per your health and preference. Just keep in mind to drink small quantities of long black or energy drinks and do not overdo them.  

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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